Rachel Bilson and Guest

Tank tops are still a wardrobe staple, but in the 2000’s, they weren’t just a basic piece—they were an essential item that you wanted to show off by pairing one with anything and everything in your wardrobe. You could layer your tank top under your bolero, or you could wear it by itself with a frayed-hem denim skirt. And why would you stop at just wearing one tank? “The more shirts, the better” was the idea behind getting dressed in the ’00s.

(Related: Every Awkward Way: We Wore Scarves In The 2000’s)

Let’s remember all of the different ways we wore tank tops in the 2000’s:

1. The “Edgy” Black Bra Under The White TankNicole Richie

What was a girl to do when she wanted to make her brilliant white tank top look edgier? Cut it in half? Rip it? Nope, you added a black bra underneath. It said that you weren’t going to conform to wearing a nude or white bra under your white tank, you were a rebel…or it said that you didn’t realize just how sheer your top was.

2. The Complicated Shoulder Layers Tank TopALISON MICHALKA at the premiere of 'Thunderbirds'  at Universal Studios Where: Hollywood, United States When: 30 Jul 2004 Credit: WENN

Wearing a tank top with a tank top was Layering 101. You didn’t mean to brag but you considered yourself to be somewhere near Layering 801. That was why you started wearing your tank top over other shirts such as t-shirts, tops with boat necklines, off-the-shoulder styles, and shirts with asymmetrical necklines. Then you got really ~*creative*~ and made sure to wear a bra with contrasting straps.

3. The Rave-Meets-Daywear Sheer Top And TankAshley Darne attends The Crocodile Hunter Collision Course premierereWENNWhere: california, United StatesWhen: 29 Jun 2002Credit: WENN

A white tank top under a sheer top was as perfect a pairing as cookies and milk. Nothing balanced out that fishnet top as well as a tank. You could show some skin and you could wear one white tank with all your different mesh tops.

4. The Preppy But Definitely Not Frumpy Cardigan And Tank TopKaty Perry

Let’s get one thing straight: If you wore a twinset, you looked matronly. If you wore a cardigan with a tank top, then it was a completely different matter. You looked preppy and cute and not at all like you were 65.

5. The Cropped Tank And The Low-Rise PantsPINK aka Alecia Moore in concert at the Point theatre Where: DUBLIN, Ireland When: 06 Nov 2002 Credit: WENN/ Dardis McDonnell

You had your longer undershirt-style tank tops, and then you had your spandex ones with the spaghetti straps. The latter were shorter and allowed you to show a subtle hint of stomach when you wore your low-rise jeans. The only issue was that your tank top would always ride up your hips so you went from showing a bit of lower abs to your entire stomach.

Click the next page to see more ways we wore tank tops in the 2000’s.

6. The “Must Only Be Layered Together” Tank Tops

Nicky Hilton returns to her car after shopping on Melrose AvenueWhere: California, United StatesWhen: 18 May 2009Credit: WENN

Those wafer-thin tank tops were sooooo soft but they were also very sheer. Unless you felt comfortable walking around with a 100 percent see-through top, you had to layer at least two of them together. Sometimes you even had to add a third.

7. The “What Do I Do With All This Extra Fabric?” Tank TopLindsay Lohan

When the boho craze took off, tank tops went from using half a yard of fabric to three yards. A lot of people were confused about what to do with all the extract fabric. Do you wear it like a dress and risk the wind blowing it up over our head? Or do you awkwardly tuck part of the hem down your jorts to show you are wearing bottoms? On windy days, the second option was most popular.

8. The “I Guess This Is What You’re Supposed To Wear It With” Tank TopKim Kardashian

Did you really like a shirt but had no clue how you were supposed to wear it? You liked it and knew your white tank top went with everything, so you decided to get the shirt and wear them together. You thought it worked and that was all that mattered.

9. The Tank Top With With The Slightly Smaller Tank TopKelly Clarkson performing at Hammersmith Apollo

Nothing showed you were a layering master like finding a slightly smaller tank top in a contrasting color to pair with one of the tank tops you already had in your closet. That different colored tank under the other one showed you knew something about style. You would never admit that the tank tops were actually sold as a set….and sometimes they were even attached. Shhhh.

10. The “Dressy” Tank Top

BEYONCE KNOWLES and TOMMY HILFIGER at the launch party for his new fragrance True Star. New York. 24.06.04 Where: United States When: 24 Jun 2004 Credit: WENN

Tank tops were a versatile wardrobe basic which to you meant that they worked with everything in your closet and for every occasion. You dressed up your favorite tank with a shiny skirt for formal occasions. If the event was really swanky, you added some sparkly accessories. It was as good as traditional black tie gowns.

11. The Lingerie-Inspired Camisole Tank Top Heidi Montag

Your ribbed tank was great but on the days when you wanted something a bit more special then it, you wore your silky camisole. It was like the slip you wore to bed and just as comfortable. It was also much more elegant than wearing a lace bra with your regular white tank top, even when it was paired with a mini skirt.

12. The “Artfully” Knotted Tank TopVanessa Hudgens hides her face from the paparazzi while out and about in Studio City Featuring: Vanessa Hudgens Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 13 May 2013 Credit: WENN.com

The creative side knot was another way to deal with tank tops with flared hems on windy days. Not only did it prevent your shirt from blowing up, it also showed off part of hipbone and pocket. And those were two things that every outfit should highlight.

(Photos: WENN)